something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Postby tiltbillings » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:29 pm

beeblebrox wrote:
And which, friends, is the development of concentration which, developed and made much of, leads to mindfulness and awareness? Here, friends, feelings arise known to a monk, known they persist, known they go to an end. Perceptions arise known, known they persist, known they go to an end. Thoughts arise known, known they persist, known they go to an end. Friends, this is the development of concentration which, developed and made much of, leads to mindfulness and awareness. – D. 33: iii,223.
Please define "persists".
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Postby Prasadachitta » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:47 pm

tiltbillings wrote:
gabrielbranbury wrote:I dont think I need to disect why logical reasoning based on assertions as a way to see if any ultimate asserstions can be made is a problematic venture.
How about restating that so it can be better understood, please.



Logical reasoning requires some kind of established basis or axiom from which to begin. If we are reasoning about whether or not the basis for our reasoning is true what use is our reasoning?

I admit that I have little to no classical philosophical training. I only study Dhamma related material.
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Postby Individual » Fri Oct 22, 2010 11:56 pm

tiltbillings wrote:Please define "persists".

Please define "define".
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Postby Prasadachitta » Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:25 am

BlackBird wrote:
The point here is not concerned with the specifics (which is what Tilt seems to be caught up in) but that for anything to 'exist' it must remain so for some period of time, or else it cannot be said to be, for it is already something other. Flux presumes perpetual change and that breaks the principle of self identity, for if flux were true, then nothing would in fact exist, because it would not 'be' at all, it would be otherwise.


The assertion "it is" is in perpetual conflict with it being otherwise. That is why it is dukkha. If we hang onto the idea that identifying things is tantamount to declaring their actuality, we are hanging onto dukkha.


Now you might say that flux is true in the scientific sense that things are in perpetual motion at a minute level that is far beyond our perception. For example that a chair may 'appear' to be the same chair it was a minute ago, but it is changing all the time, at an atomic level (or however you want to slice it). However to us, the chair remains the same until it changes.


We have an idea of the chair not changing. What is going on in our experience is nothing like that idea.

So we have a problem, we can either assert the existence of the chair, or we can deny it.


Actually these are not our only options. We can notice what is actually happening and understand if talking about the chair is useful.

To assert the existence of the chair, to say that the chair exists in my experience is to deny the idea of perpetual change. To deny the existence of the chair is to say that although it 'appears' to be a chair, it is in fact in perpetual flux, along with the rest of our world, and we do not see that because we are ignorant of the Buddha's teaching.


We dont see flux because the object we pay attention to is our idea "this is a chair". I think the Buddhas teaching is far deeper than merely noticing flux.


Now if you re-read the first quote, you will see that this is nothing more than the two contentions that the Mahayanists make. It is the same argument, unfortunately that Orthodox Theravadins make.


Teachings, whether Theravada or Mahayana have there own contexts which make them not the same. I think the middle way between
we can either assert the existence of the chair, or we can deny it.
can be found in either tradition.


Metta

Gabe
Last edited by Prasadachitta on Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:36 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Postby Prasadachitta » Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:34 am

Individual wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Please define "persists".

Please define "define".

Define=
to explain or identify the nature or essential qualities of

Persist=

to continue steadfastly or firmly in some state, purpose, course of action,

It might not mean unchanging. The parameters of when a thing is said to persist may be filled with changing.
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:46 am

BlackBird wrote:In light of the above, this should now make sense. If it doesn't, I'll try to expand when I get home later on.

Thanks for the explanation. However, it still doesn't sound particularly well argued. And, as I said, it seems to be a key point of discussion between Buddhist schools for over 2000 years.

Gethin, "The Foundations of Buddhism", page 221.
Rejecting the idea of dhammas existing in the three times of past, present, and future, Sautrantikas criticised the Sarvastivadin conception of the duration of a dharma in the present moment. For the Sarvastivardins dharmas are substantial realities (dravya) existing in their own right, which for a moment operate in the present. From this perspective, the present moment although a very short period of time, is none the less a period of time. ... Yet, object the Sautrantikas, if something endures unchanged for even a moment, then the fundamental Buddhist principle of impermanence is compromised. ... This kind of thinking led to the conception of moments as point instants of time which, just as geometric points have no extension in space, have no duration in time. It is in the light of this that we should understand the Abhidharma (of this school) account of the twelve links of interdependent arising occurring in a moment: analyse reality down to the shortest conceivable moment of time and and what we still find is a process rather than inert, or static, bits.

[Discussion of how dharmas could produce effects long after they cease in terms of 'seeds', leading to the Yogacharin 'store conciousness' idea]

For their part the Theravadin Abdharmikas seem to have referred the answer to the kinds of problem we have been considering to their understanding of hte conciousness process... Between each active conciousness process the mind returns to a basic state of conciousness (bhavanga) that defines a being as an individual before emerging once more in response to some physical or mental stimulus. Thus instead of referring the continuity of character traits and habitual tendencies to a continuity present (but still always changing) underlying state of mind, which the Sutrantikas and later the Yogacarins tended to do, the Theravadins refer it to a continually intervening state of mind.

[Goes on to discuss the Pudgalavadin school...]

So, yes, teasing out the implications of such analysis obviously can leads to difficulties and apparent contradictions. In his brief letter Ven N has gone over some of the same ground as many thinkers in the past and squeezed out a particular conclusion. From what I've quoted above, it's possible that his conclusions may not actually apply to the Theravada position.

To be fair, he may be acknowledging that not everyone is so confused, since he does mention this as the position of
the average Theravādin

and it's likely the average Theravadin is confused about lots of things (I know for sure that I am!).

:anjali:
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Postby retrofuturist » Sat Oct 23, 2010 12:50 am

Greetings,

Once sensory input is objectified as a "thing", this objectified and abstracted thing (now disassociated from actual sense input) may be attributed certain qualities which are perceived to endure.

For example, "That tree near the back door", retains its "That tree near the back door"-ness quality over time, whilst the attributed thingness of the "door" and the "tree" are believed to accord with reality.

Any perception of unchangingness is a mental fabrication abstracted from the contact upon which it arose. It is a conceptual overlay.

Metta,
Retro. :)
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Postby beeblebrox » Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:09 am

tiltbillings wrote:
beeblebrox wrote:
And which, friends, is the development of concentration which, developed and made much of, leads to mindfulness and awareness? Here, friends, feelings arise known to a monk, known they persist, known they go to an end. Perceptions arise known, known they persist, known they go to an end. Thoughts arise known, known they persist, known they go to an end. Friends, this is the development of concentration which, developed and made much of, leads to mindfulness and awareness. – D. 33: iii,223.
Please define "persists".

That quote comes from this:

Katamā ca āvuso samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā satisampajaññāya samvattati? Idhāvuso bhikkhuno viditā vedanā uppajjanti, viditā upatthahanti, viditā abbhattham gacchanti; viditā saññā uppajjanti, viditā upatthahanti, viditā abbhattham gacchanti; viditā vitakkā uppajjanti, viditā upatthahanti, viditā abbhattham gacchanti. Ayam āvuso samādhibhāvanā bhāvitā bahulīkatā satisampajaññāya samvattati.

The best I can figure it out: upaṭṭhahanti = 3rd person plural (referring above to the vedanā, saññā, and then vitakkā), meaning that they "wait on" (per the Pāli dictionary definition)... or, "stand up" as far as I can tell from the word's following components: upa (up, obviously) and ṭha (stand); not sure about "ha". Nti is a 3rd person plural declension. The word "persist" seems to be adequate here... maybe "stand" might be more accurate. (Viditā = "known", with the appropriate ending ā for plural.)

I just had a thought (vidita vitakka uppajjati)... if you imagined that there is a "constant flux" going on around you even though you don't perceive this for yourself, you've essentially based this on a delusion.

If you've actually perceived this "constant flux"... and when things around you stopped being in a constant flux (i.e., they settle back down into their temporary, stable thing-ness), you still continue to think that everything is in a "constant flux", you've essentially ignored the cessation of your perception (sañña) of this "constant flux". That would be the ignorance of how things are (avijjā).

Even this so-called "constant flux" has the characteristic of anicca... it reverts back to stability. This is basically why the Tathāgata taught via "the middle way".
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Postby Prasadachitta » Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:20 am

retrofuturist wrote:Greetings,

Once sensory input is objectified as a "thing", this objectified and abstracted thing (now disassociated from actual sense input) may be attributed certain qualities which are perceived to endure.

For example, "That tree near the back door", retains its "That tree near the back door"-ness quality over time, whilst the attributed thingness of the "door" and the "tree" are believed to accord with reality.

Any perception of unchangingness is a mental fabrication abstracted from the contact upon which it arose. It is a conceptual overlay.

Metta,
Retro. :)



Well put Retro. I think you concisely said what Ive been meaning to convey.

Thanks

Gabe
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Postby Prasadachitta » Sat Oct 23, 2010 1:27 am

beeblebrox wrote:I just had a thought (vidita vitakka uppajjati)... if you imagined that there is a "constant flux" going on around you even though you don't perceive this for yourself, you've essentially based this on a delusion.

If you've actually perceived this "constant flux"... and when things around you stopped being in a constant flux (i.e., they settle back down into their temporary, stable thing-ness), you still continue to think that everything is in a "constant flux", you've essentially ignored the cessation of your perception (sañña) of this "constant flux". That would be the ignorance of how things are (avijjā).

Even this so-called "constant flux" has the characteristic of anicca... it reverts back to stability. This is basically why the Tathāgata taught via "the middle way".


Yes indeed. This makes a lot of sense to me. This is how change can be a "thing".

Thanks Beeblebrox


Gabe
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Postby Individual » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:28 am

gabrielbranbury wrote:
Individual wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Please define "persists".

Please define "define".

Define=
to explain or identify the nature or essential qualities of

Persist=

to continue steadfastly or firmly in some state, purpose, course of action,

It might not mean unchanging. The parameters of when a thing is said to persist may be filled with changing.

How is it that you can simply start using words in order to define definition?
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Postby mikenz66 » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:35 am

Individual wrote:How is it that you can simply start using words in order to define definition?

Don't dictionaries normally dos that? :reading:

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Postby Individual » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:38 am

mikenz66 wrote:
Individual wrote:How is it that you can simply start using words in order to define definition?

Don't dictionaries normally dos that? :reading:

Mike

I've never had a dictionary start talking to me and even if it did, I have no reason to assume it's enlightened.
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Postby Individual » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:40 am

So I don't just seem like I'm playing games... See this:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hermeneutics#Heidegger
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:45 am

beeblebrox wrote:
And which, friends, is the development of concentration which, developed and made much of, leads to mindfulness and awareness? Here, friends, feelings arise known to a monk, known they persist, known they go to an end. Perceptions arise known, known they persist, known they go to an end. Thoughts arise known, known they persist, known they go to an end. Friends, this is the development of concentration which, developed and made much of, leads to mindfulness and awareness. – D. 33: iii,223.

And those things in the first meditation — thinking and pondering and gladness and pleasure and one-pointedness of mind, contact, feeling, perception, intention, mind, wish, resolve, energy, mindfulness, equanimity, attention — these things are analyzed step by step by him. These things arise known to him. Known they persist, known they go to an end. He understands thus: Thus these things, having not been, come to be. Having been, they disappear. – M. 111: iii,25.


. . . known to him those states arose, known they were present, known they disappeared . . . . - MNiii 25 Ven Bodhi's trans., MLDB 899. This give a slightly different take. Feelings "persist," but anyone who has attended to feelings with a concentrated/mindful mind knows they do not persist as an unchanging some-"thing."
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:47 am

Individual wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Please define "persists".

Please define "define".
No.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 23, 2010 2:56 am

beeblebrox wrote:I just had a thought (vidita vitakka uppajjati)... if you imagined that there is a "constant flux" going on around you even though you don't perceive this for yourself, you've essentially based this on a delusion.

If you've actually perceived this "constant flux"... and when things around you stopped being in a constant flux (i.e., they settle back down into their temporary, stable thing-ness), you still continue to think that everything is in a "constant flux", you've essentially ignored the cessation of your perception (sañña) of this "constant flux". That would be the ignorance of how things are (avijjā).

Even this so-called "constant flux" has the characteristic of anicca... it reverts back to stability. This is basically why the Tathāgata taught via "the middle way".
Settled down to "stable thing-ness?" What the heck is "stable thing-ness?"

If one is attending without comment, with a mindful/concentrated mind, there is no "continue to think." There is simply the attending without comment, with a mindful/concentrated mind to the rise and fall of whatever presents itself to awareness.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Postby Individual » Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:04 am

tiltbillings wrote:
Individual wrote:
tiltbillings wrote:Please define "persists".

Please define "define".
No.

Why no?
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Postby tiltbillings » Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:08 am

Individual wrote:Why no?
Off topic and you can handle that on your own.
This being is bound to samsara, kamma is his means for going beyond.
SN I, 38.

Ar scáth a chéile a mhaireas na daoine.
People live in one another’s shelter.

"We eat cold eels and think distant thoughts." -- Jack Johnson
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Re: something endures unchanged for at least a certain interval

Postby alan » Sat Oct 23, 2010 3:31 am

That Nanavira certainly blows minds!
He sure blew mine. I can see now why his ideas stir up such an emotional reaction. I have read it only twice, and don't pretend to get him totally. But just for the purpose of the discussion, I'd say he seems to be reacting, in the passage quoted, against the commentarial position.
So...is there such a thing as "total flux"? He says no, because there must be at least a fraction of an instant when something actually exists--even if it then changes. I can't put that into a wider context, since I'm unaware of most of the commentarial arguments. But in and of itself the argument seems to makes sense. Certainly would not call it bad philosophy.
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